Thursday, August 13, 2015

CFO Online Registration Now a Requirement

CFO | CFO Online Registration Now a Requirement|
CFO Manila is one of only two offices; the other one is in Cebu.

She writes…

Spouses and partners of foreign nationals who have gone through the Commission on Filipinos Overseas Guidance and Counseling before mid-2014 know the patience required in completing this.

(You can read CFO Guidance and Counseling Certificate: A Less Known Immigration Requirement to understand how different the process was more than a year ago.)

So I was delighted to find out that those who need to attend counseling for the GCC can now make reservations and register online. Not only that but starting August 17, CFO will no longer entertain walk-ins.

Image from CFO
It’s about time considering that as per 2014 data from the US Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, the Philippines is the US fiancé/fiancée visa capital of the world.

If CFO only had this policy as early as January 2014, when I attended my Guidance and Counseling session, it would have saved me some time and energy.  

Not that I regret the “idle time” because the long wait allowed me to befriend, get to know and interact with fellow emigrants. Something good actually came of it and to this day, I am connected on Facebook with the friends I made at the CFO counseling office. The beauty of befriending people with whom you will share such an experience is that you can exchange stories with them for comfort and encouragement.
A maximum of 15 participants usually attend
CFO's Guidance and Counselling sessions.
You see, back when CFO didn’t have online registration, they did not allow any form of reservation so no matter how much you pleaded and begged for a slot on the phone, the person on the other end was adamant that you will only be accommodated once you’re physically there.

For partners of emigrants going to countries like US, which tops the list of destination of foreign partners, this meant waking up before the rooster crowed. You needed to be extra early so that you could attend the morning class.

Imagine how it was like if you were making a round trip from a province like Ifugao where just the one-way trip to Manila took at least 12 hours.  But to be fair, I observed that this government office did not tolerate fixers, so in the end I didn’t really mind because I didn’t feel like there was preferential treatment for anyone.

With this upgrade, slots are now guaranteed so you can sleep in a little bit later and be assured that you will complete your goal in the same day. Although the CFO GCC is not as complicated as the process of applying for a US immigrant visa, this online system still reduces the hurdles that Filipino emigrants encounter to complete their visa journey. #

Related Entry

CFO Guidance and Counseling Certificate: A Less Known Immigration Requirement


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